Municipal debt a significant challenge, says Eskom

Municipal debt a significant challenge, says Eskom

South Africa – State-owned power utility, Eskom says the mounting debt by the City of Tshwane (CoT) and the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) for bulk electricity supply is posing a “significant challenge” .

According to Eskom, the City of Tshwane owes it some R4 .

2 billion while Ekurhuleni is currently in arrears of some R146 million .

“The accumulating debt not only strains Eskom’s financial stability but also threatens the reliability of electricity supply across the province .

The impact on Eskom’s financial stability is exacerbated by the City of Tshwane’s accumulation of unpaid bills and Ekurhuleni Municipality’s late payments, and it affects the residents and businesses that rely on a stable power supply .

“If left unaddressed, the situation could lead to service interruptions, hindering economic activities .

Despite continuous efforts to address the inconsistent and late payments, the debt, specifically that of the CoT, continues to grow and hinders Eskom’s ability to invest in essential infrastructure, maintenance, and the development of sustainable energy solutions,” the power utility said .

The electricity supplier urged municipalities to “prioritise settling current accounts and outstanding electricity payments” .

“Eskom remains committed to working with municipalities to find viable solutions and mitigate the potential repercussions of the mounting debt,” the power utility said .

Meanwhile, an Eskom Tutuka Power Station employee, Katlego Twala, has been sentenced to one-year imprisonment or to pay a fine of R10 000 wholly suspended for five years after he was found guilty of stealing five drums of hydraulic fluid oil .

Eskom acting General Manager for Security Botse Sikhwitshi said: “Eskom has a zero-tolerance stance on acts of dishonesty and views the conduct of the employee as unacceptable .

We will continue working on flushing out the minority that cast a shadow on the organisation” .

According to Eskom, the incident occurred in October last year while earlier this year, a contractor at the power station was arrested for fraud and corruption – symbolising a crackdown on illegal activities at the power utility .

“Eskom welcomes the sanction by the court and would like to thank the South African Police Service (SAPS), its own internal investigators and the National Prosecuting Authority for the positive outcome .

“Eskom urges the public to report information regarding illegal electricity sales, fraud, the theft of coal, fuel oil, and diesel and all other electricity-related crimes to the Eskom Crime Line: 0800 11 27 22 .

Reporting can be done anonymously,” the power utility said .

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